Divergent Technology

On the way out of the office to the structure fire last night, I knocked over a plastic shelf that someone’s lead technician (you know who you are) had left propped against the door to the kitchen.

On my return, I stopped at the house to grab a beer (okay, two) and returned to the office. Striding confidently through the dark kitchen at the office, I stepped on the shelf which shot out from under me.

Kicking both feet high in the air and throwing my keys across the room, I ended up flat on my back on the floor. Happily I did not split my head open nor drop either beer.


I’ve upgraded.


I’ve only found one serious issue so far; a database modeling tool that I use won’t start. It displays the splash screen and then hangs.


I’ve posted on their forum; hopefully they will fix it soon. Conveniently, I did need to make a change to the structure of one of the databases I maintain; I made the change on Friday before upgrading.

Other things I’ve found…

– Some system profiling tools that run in the menu bar won’t start
– My (ex-)current screen saver won’t run

On the other hand, things do seem to run faster. Well, Gimp starts up slower. Everything else runs faster.

UPDATE: Turns out I was running an ‘old’ version of DBVA.  I’ve updated to the most recent version and now DBVA loads fine and incredibly quickly.

… I’d have no luck at all.

I guess I’m having a run of bad luck. But maybe it’s good luck in disguise.

You don’t want to know. It’s a long, sad litany.

The good parts, I guess;

– I won’t be getting my new MacBook Pro back, but Apple will be replacing it with the new WWDC model.
– I had no points so my 50 in a 35 (was distracted) will only cost $140.
– My iPhone 3G S (courtesy of DTG) will, in fact, arrive on the 19th.
– I have been accepted into the iPhone developer program even if my account appears to be so misconfigured that I can’t access any of the program resources.
– My camera that died on its own yesterday is unarguably under warranty.
– Rather than being stuck in Boston, I was still in Lebanon when my flight was horribly delayed ’til tomorrow and so get to spend tonight at home rather than in an airport.


Back when I was learning to program in BASIC on the Wang 2200, I ran into memory limitations when the code I was writing exceeded the machine’s 4K of RAM. I had been writing the code, a Star Wars game with four different mini-games, at home on paper, typing it in at school, and saving the program to cassette tape. It was a very black day when I hit the 4K limitation.

My new machine is lovely but had been having some swapping issues. I am hard on computers… At any given time, I have email open, a to-do planner, a calendar, an IM client, iTunes, Firefox with six or eight windows and numerous tabs, and three or four terminal windows. Depending on what else I am doing, I might have an IDE open, a database visual developer, MySQL, and JBoss. If I am working against Oracle or SQL Server, I will additionally have VMWare open running a virtual Linux box (for Oracle) or XP (for SQL Server). There are a host of other things that might be open; photo software, blogging software, music software, office software.

When I have a bunch of things open, swapping between the big processes (a VM or the IDE) could take up to thirty seconds; a big drag in terms of productivity.

So I’ve gone and maxxed out the RAM; 8 GB. This is (assuming my math is correct) twenty million times more RAM than the Wang 2200 I started on had. Probably more RAM than was available in the entire state of Connecticut at that time.

I’m also upgrading the hard drive from a 5400 to a 7200 HD. Still 320 GB. I have not done this yet as I am engaged in a comedy of errors regarding an external drive enclosure that I need to do the transfer; first, the enclosure was incorrectly specified by a trusted friend (you know who you are), then the replacement I managed to find locally doesn’t seem to have the oompf that the 5v/800 mA new drive requires. Sometime over the weekend I will take out the DVD/ROM and temporarily replace it with the new drive while I format and transfer. With a little luck, the enclosure will work with the current HD as it does with an Apple-branded 60 GB HD that came out of the DTG Mini when I upgraded that to better run Logic.

Anyway, the new RAM is awesome and I find that I can have my Linux VM and Eclipse open at the same time along with everything else without problems.

My current contract is going well but entails a lot of work. I have billed for more than sixty hours each week since I started although I have actually worked more than that. They seem to be happy with the work that I am doing and have extended my contract from May 30th for the summer.

Although I was hired for my text messaging experience, I have been doing very little related to that. Much of my work revolves around databases, Java, and web services. I have picked up some new skills and brushed off some old ones. It is certainly interesting work and I am pleased that they have extended my contract.

Tomorrow morning I am assisting my paid department at ‘Traumaproma’. This is to be a performance of sorts at the local high school. Saturday is the prom; tomorrow we will respond to a mock drunk-driving accident at the school involving two vehicles and four patients. I understand the injuries may be severe; someone may die and someone may be transported from the scene by helicopter. It sounds like fun.


Actually, I am presented with a beautiful vista; Angel Island is dead ahead, Alcatraz is passing on the left with the Golden Gate behind. Due to daylight savings, the sun is lower than it has been during my commute and the light on everything is just stunning.

I finished my breakfast (yogurt, bagel, *$ coffee) and the free SF Examiner and pulled out my computer, popped it open… And it was ready to go in seconds. No fuss. No blue screen. No five or fifteen minutes waiting for it to stabilize. The battery life is claimed to be amazing… Up to eight hours on a charge. At present, the machine claims to have six hours and fifty minutes left.

I bought a Mac on Saturday. The difference is night and day.

The Vista machine is reimaged, cleaned, and Craigslisted. Fingers crossed that it sells quickly.

I have been at work for 45 minutes.  My machine is still not stable enough to use for real work.

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